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Access Lab 2020: improving library user access and workflows

AvatarBy Michelle Silvestre
Category - Blog

Wednesday 15th January 2020

Star speakers from across the information industry will share their thoughts and expertise at our annual conference. Recently re-named Access Lab, the conference takes place on 19 March 2020 at the America Square Conference Centre, London.

The theme for this year is ‘Simplifying the Future together’, reflecting our commitment towards developing a secure, simple and seamless user journey to content.

Speakers Johan Tilstra, founder of SAGE Publishing company Lean Library, and Andrew Cheney, Evidence Services Lead at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, give us a brief insight into their experience of easier access to content anywhere and what their talk will discuss.

Updating library infrastructure

With just over three decades of library services behind them, Johan and Andrew have witnessed a movement in the market towards changing old-fashioned library infrastructure.

The need to provide information within a timely manner is more important than ever since technology provides a vast amount of content that may or may not be trustworthy. So, improving user experience, where end-users don’t have to understand library systems, is at the forefront of the minds of librarians and publishers.

One of the challenges experienced by the Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust was that as a fragmented organisation with a library team of four, there was pressure to deliver easy access to save time for content seekers and library staff alike.

Easier access

Through single sign-on authentication Lean Library and OpenAthens have partnered together to support libraries with user-focused access to digital content.

Lean Library brings library services directly into a patron’s workflow via their web browser using a browser plugin and OpenAthens perfectly slots into this by removing the need to remember multiple usernames and passwords and supporting off-site access.

Historically, the NHS has used its own national routes to online content, however Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is the first NHS organisation to implement Lean Library to complement these national routes and better serve its diverse and disparate evidence seekers.

Integrated into day to day work life, this service has helped to streamline user experience and save ‘track downtime’ in such a fast-paced workplace. Since its application in May 2019, there has been a 45% increase in access to content, which in turn demonstrates greater value for money in a cost-sensitive environment.

Access Lab discussion

Johan and Andrew will be providing insight into the issues that users may encounter when using libraries, drawing on their partnership together to improve access from anywhere.

Visit the Access Lab conference site to view the full agenda and register for a ticket.

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